Alan Irvine - Norwich uncertainty 'astonishing'

Alan Irvine speaking to Stephen Naismith

Alan Irvine speaking to Stephen Naismith

ALAN IRVINE has said it is “astonishing” that neither he nor his coaches know whether they will still be at Norwich City next season.

The futures of caretaker manager Irvine and his coaches Dean Kiely and Frankie McAvoy - among others - are up in the air until a new head coach is appointed by Sporting Director Stuart Webber.

Webber has always said he intends to make an appointment within two to three weeks of the end of the season.

Irvine complained: “It is not just me, Dean or Frankie - it is other people who are waiting to find out as well. That is the thing I have been saying about the job people have been doing.

"They have had to do a thoroughly professional job without knowing if they are going to be here or not and they deserve huge amounts of credit for that as well.

“It is astonishing for me they haven’t been told what is happening. I am not happy about it. Quite simply, it is a strange position.

“We should know by now. It is up to them to come to us and tell us. To be a caretaker for 10 games is very unusual. At the beginning it was one game at a time and then the last five games as a block and when it became five games then it was easier because we knew the situation.”

Irvine was made caretaker manager on March 10th - almost a month before Webber was appointed. At the time, the club suggested the Scot would be in place on a game-by-game basis. Even at the start of April, Irvine called for a permanent decision to be made.

But Webber insisted: “We were very clear at the outset when we asked Alan to do the job to the end of the season, which he accepted, and we were very grateful.

“He [Irvine] has done the job very very well in difficult circumstances. For him and Frankie particularly, their jobs are up in the air until the head coach is here.

“We couldn’t be any clearer on that. I spoke to every head of department on my first day in the job and reassured them we will be moving forward together.

“I think it’s pretty crystal clear really. The days when a new head coach comes in and sacks 30 people hasn’t happened for years and it certainly won’t be happening here. I appreciate it’s not easy, but Alan will have seen this before.”

Webber reiterated that he expects to have a head coach in place by the end of the month.

“Absolutely, yes, we fully expect that,” he said. “We have a clear idea of the type of person it will be and a list of candidates. Once their season has finished we can start to accelerate that process.

“With all the staff we’ve cracked on with planning pre-season. Obviously we need a head coach to nail down what that looks like on a day to day basis in terms of coaching and training schedules, so if you’re the head of sports science or a physio you know what your working week looks like.

“That’s the uncertain bit. Until that person is in place that can’t happen, but I’ve explained to people that once that person is appointed we can have meetings and move forward.

“People need to be patient. People are in jobs and we have to respect that.

“You can't just go around approaching people when they've got important stages of the season to finish. I fully expect within the next two to three weeks we'll be able to make an announcement.”

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